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1849: Captain Preston's tale of derring do

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 29 November 1849

Edward Haselgrove (of Cuckfield), David Botting, George Botting, and Michael Botting (of Balcombe), were charged with vagrancy. In this case Captain Preston was witness and retired from the Bench.


Captain Preston's grounds at Borde Hill

It appeared that on Saturday evening, the gallant Captain having being informed that four suspicious fellows had been seen lurking about his grounds, summoned three of his men, and commenced a search. After going to various places, they reached the Lulland's hovel. Placing his men on the look-out the Captain entered, and discovered the parties concealed. David Botting put himself in a fighting attitude, but was instantly collared by the Captain, who seeing Haselgrove near him, collared him also with his other hand and then called for his men, who instantly appeared, and the whole party were then secured.


A quantity of wires fell from David Botting’s hat. Haselgrove afterwards attempted to escape but was overtaken; and the Captain and his men took the party to the Cuckfield Police Station, and locked them up. Haselgrove was committed for three months, and for a second charge of poaching on the lands of W. Sergison, Esq., of Cuckfield Place, two months, which was however included in the first sentence. David Botting was sent to the same domicile for 80 days, and the other two prisoners were committed for one month each.

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